Composer in Residence - John Ashton Thomas
Writer in Residence - Tracey Mathias
John Ashton Thomas.
John wrote the music for the 2010 and 2011 Summer Schools - Street Party and Around the World in 80 Ways - which are now an important part of DaCapo's school project repertoire.
He is currently writing for this year's Summer School - Planets, Moons and Stars (a version also written for DaCapo's 21st Birthday) and for new schools' projects including an exciting sport and rhythm project for KS3.
John has a large breadth of musical experience. He holds a Master's Degree in Composition from the University of London and is an Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, London. He has worked as a composer, arranger, orchestrator, conductor, pianist and teacher in the UK and USA.
Some highlights of John's career have been "Meeting Points", a ballet performed at The Place, London in 1984. "Let's Get Moving! ", for chamber ensemble and Tape, selected by the SPNM director Graham Fitkin for performance at the ICA in 1994. "Two Blake Songs" for mixed choir was performed by the London Concord Singers at St. Michael's, Bloomsbury in 1994. "Music of the early 21st century" for Alto Saxophone and electronics was recorded and performed by Martin Speake and John in 2000, and was released as a CD by Sonic Arts. "The Magic Piano" for Piano and laptop, premiered in 2003. "Music for 3 Quintets, 3 Sextets and 7 Percussion" was performed twice in 2005 at Blackheath Concert Halls.
Since 2001 he has worked on a wide range of film scores, from "Ice Age" 2&3 and "Happy Feet" to "Night at the Museum" 1&2, "How to Train your Dragon" and many others. He also writes for Universal Production Music.
Tracey grew up in Cardiff. She studied history at Jesus College Oxford, and did a PGCE at Bristol University. She worked as a teacher, administrator and intermittent post graduate student of literature and anthropology while trying to work out what she really wanted to do when (if) she grew up. She has been a DaCapo enthusiast for more than ten years, as a parent and student. In 2005 she helped to set up and run the first Da Capo summer school, writing words for a number of the songs. Writing has become a major part of her life since then: she has written a trilogy of fantasy novels for older children which is published in German (and still seeking an English publisher……) and is currently working on a new novel. In the meantime, she has continued to enjoy writing lyrics for Da Capo: she wrote many of the songs for The Street Party and for last year’s summer school, for The Complete Instrumentalist 2 and for the 21st birthday celebrations.
She is married, has three daughters and a tabby cat, and has been singing with the Camden Choir for many years.